Furnace/AC issues.....worried about CO


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Old 08-30-15, 12:06 PM
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Furnace/AC issues.....worried about CO

Let me start this off by saying that I do have 3 carbon monoxide detectors. One in the hallway that is a smoke/carbon one, one in my bedroom and another in my living room. I tested them all the other night and they all worked.

The other day I came home and felt it was hot in the house so I checked the thermastat and the temp in the house was not changing at all and it had been on for a while, so I decided to just turn it off on the thermastat.

I know one of the issues can be that I hadn't changed the filter in months, probably since the winter. So last night I got a new one and put it in I tried to turn it on again and I probably didn't give it enough time cuz it still wasn't changing the temp but it was coming out cold.

My biggest fear is that there is something wrong with the furnace and it is slowly leaking CO and my detectors aren't picking it up, which is why I have had it turned off.

I'm planning on calling PSEG first thing in the morning to see if they can come out to check it.

Is what I'm thinking possible? I live in a condo and in my utility room there is a washer, dryer, furnace and hot water heater. The AC unit is on my patio.
 
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Old 08-30-15, 12:26 PM
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I've been sleepy a lot and my throat was hurting when I woke up. It has been 4 days now since the first issue with the ac not changing the temp.
 
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Old 08-30-15, 01:06 PM
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None of what your are experiencing has anything to do with CO. Although there is not much in a way of testing the detectors, I highly doubt all three would fail at the same time. If you are worried that they are not working properly, I recommend replacing them with a new one(s).

A sore throat is also not a symptom of CO poisoning. I have had minor CO poisoning and the first thing that will happen is you will get a headache. I moved to fresh air and the headache went away after a couple hours.

CO is produced by burning a fuel. In a home the common ones are Fuel Oil, Natural Gas, and Propane. These are to produce heat. When you are running the A/C no CO is produced as there is no fuel burning. The inside furnace is only running the fan which is electric. The outside unit (condenser) is all electric and is only moving Freon in the line set.

Changing the filter will help with in proving air flow over the evaporator which should help in cooling. But again, this has nothing to do with CO.
 
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Old 08-30-15, 01:13 PM
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With the almost total lack of information given concerning your furnace and air conditioning system I cannot offer any advice on that issue. However, I CAN offer advice on the carbon monoxide detectors.

The ONLY good thing I can say about residential CO detectors is that they are better than no detector at all. The worst thing about them is that they lead to a false sense of security.

Residential CO detectors are purposely built to be fairly insensitive so as to reduce the number of false alarms. Unfortunately, this often leads to low levels of carbon monoxide accumulating and that is a real hazard. Also, CO is a somewhat difficult gas to detect and the sensors have a fairly limited lifespan, maybe five years under ideal conditions. If your CO detectors are more than five years old they really need to be replaced. Do NOT think that because the unit "tests" okay that it is really okay. The test is ONLY checking the electronics and the sensor itself could be far out of calibration and that could make the unit worse than useless.

Now you COULD have a problem IF the filter frame on your furnace does not have a proper seal AND there is a problem with either (or both) the water heater or clothes dryer, assuming both appliances are gas-fired. It might be a problem of "back drafting" where the exhaust gases are being brought back into the room rather than being properly vented outside. This could occur with a partially plugged or disconnected vent piping or possibly from a plugged outside air inlet vent. There are other possibilities as well.
 
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Old 08-30-15, 01:14 PM
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If you have the furnace turned off you won't get any A/C either.

Public Service will check out the A/C as well as the furnace. There will be a charge if you don't have a service contract but there prices are very fair.
 
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Old 08-30-15, 02:01 PM
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I guess it isn't turned off completely but I meant just turned off but clicking on the thermastat off
 
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Old 08-30-15, 02:04 PM
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I've had the detectors probably a year and a half by now. I just moved into my condo January 2014 and brought them shortly after that.
 
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Old 08-30-15, 02:11 PM
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Thank you so much. You helped eased my fears about this. I've had a slight headache a couple days but I think it has more to do with me not eating correctly over this issue.

I haven't had any issues with my hot water heater or dryer at all so I'm guessing I'm all good on the whole CO thing.
 
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Old 08-30-15, 02:38 PM
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I haven't had any issues with my hot water heater or dryer at all so I'm guessing I'm all good on the whole CO thing.
You can't guess about these things, you need to do some tests and inspections to be certain you have no problem. The appliances may seem to be okay while they are spewing CO into the room.

Inspect that the dryer vent connection is solidly connected to both the dryer and the exhaust duct going through the wall. Make certain there are no holes in the duct. Light a match and then blow it out and while it is smoking hold it near the water heater exhaust duct to see if the smoke is immediately pulled into the vent. Do this test with the burner firing and also not firing. Check any vents in the room to outside to be certain they are not obstructed.
 
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Old 08-30-15, 02:57 PM
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I've had a slight headache a couple days but I think it has more to do with me not eating correctly over this issue.
Or from worry.

Follow Furd's advice on inspecting your other appliances if they are gas fired. If they are electric they will not produce any CO gas. Again, with 3 CO detectors that are only a couple years old I believe you have a good safety net vs CO.
 
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Old 08-30-15, 04:09 PM
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Who can I call to come check it? Only because one I'm living in a condo so I can't go to where it reaches the outside and two I really don't know what I'm doing or what exactly I should do and don't want to start a fire.
 
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Old 08-30-15, 07:18 PM
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Have you told us your fuel? If natural gas, you can call the gas company, which has already been suggested. Or, call the fire department.

This thread seems to be going around in circles.
 
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Old 08-31-15, 06:11 AM
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How is it going around in circles? I don't know much about those type of appliances so I'm here asking for help. Didn't know that was an issue
 
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Old 09-01-15, 03:39 AM
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I already told you how to check for "back drafting" at the water heater vent. If you don't want to use a blown-out match for a smoke source then get some incense sticks. If you live in a multi-unit condo building there is likely a maintenance manor woman that could help you. Have you asked the condo association for help?

I can't teach you anything if you are not willing to try to learn.
 
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Old 09-01-15, 04:00 PM
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I'm living in a condo so I can't go to where it reaches the outside
What's the "it"? The exhaust flue from the furnace? That wouldn't be the best place to measure for CO entering the house. In any case, assuming you are not running your furnace now in the summer, there is no way it would be emitting CO to the inside of your house. As Furd mentioned, your gas-fired water heater or clothes dryer could be a source - but we don't know for sure that you are using natural gas or that you have a gas clothes dryer or water heater. This is part of the "going around in circles" comment that I mentioned earlier and that you seemed to take offense to.

There have been several suggestions offered here about how to proceed - we need to hear from you about what you have done with those suggestions or at least your acknowledgement of them.

If you don't want to call the gas company or the fire department, call a reputable heating contractor.
 
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Old 09-05-15, 03:32 PM
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Supposing that you have natural gas, call the utility. The natural gas utility I used to work for in Seattle sent a trained, properly equipped and experienced repairman out upon any complaint of possible CO problems and an effective check of any problem was made at no cost to customers.

What are you waiting for?
 
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Old 09-05-15, 04:53 PM
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Supposing that you have natural gas, call the utility.
Good advice.

It seems, like Elvis, that our original poster has left the building - without responding to any of the suggestions that have been offered here.

But, it's well to be aware that most gas companies, if they come and detect a CO or other safety problem, will lock out the meter until the customer fixes the problem and the installation is re-inspected. Personally, I think that is a good policy.
 
 

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